San Diego is graced with an edition of CRSSD Festival every six months. Here are five reasons we keep getting excited time after time!
After kicking off in 2015 as the little festival in San Diego, CRSSD Festival continues to beat stronger with each and every edition. The semi-annual festival strikes twice with house and techno artists from around the world in America’s Finest City and it continues to yield results. As music goes, their lineups include long-standing talents that helped bolster the global electronic music scene (i.e. Sasha, John Digweed, Seth Troxler, etc.). It offers a stage to the rising stars ready take us on the next phase of the musical train.
Yes, CRSSD Festival still has some problems, every festival does, but their team works in a myriad of ways to capture the “alumni” feedback and fix as many issues as possible. Venue and city constraints we discussed in past event reviews – like this one from the 2018 Fall festival or those found at the 2019 Spring edition – still rear their ugly heads, but the festival offers such a different style that we cannot help but love it.
If you have not gone to CRSSD Festival before, you might be wondering what you’re getting yourself into and what tips we can offer. While we will have an essentials post before the festival weekend arrives, let’s discuss what you can expect with five things we love about CRSSD Festival!
Five Things That Set The Semi-Annual CRSSD Festival Apart
That Sunset Moment in the Middle of the Festival
There certainly are parties that bigger than CRSSD Festival. EDC Las Vegas, Electric Zoo, Ultra Music Festival, and more curate style and surroundings into mecca-level experiences. CRSSD Festival flips the script focusing on a simplified dignity near the bay of San Diego. There are no camping experiences like Dirtybird Campout, but the sunsets over the bay bring day into night with plenty of amazing acts all around.
I’ve heard the seagulls fly away in the scorching summer heat with Bob Moses, Flight Facilities, and Latmun. There are the springtime moments where the skies turn red with Patrice Baumel, Anna, Tycho, Skream, and Nora en Pure. Sure, places like Red Rocks and The Gorge offer equally stunning vistas for the sunsets and music, but there is something splendid about the city by the bay’s offering with this unique musical atmosphere.
The Water Fountains of Waterfront Park
To the delight of everyone, CRSSD Festival invites its attendees to enjoy one of the more peculiar aspects of its location: the signature water fountains of Waterfront Park. At every edition – be it springtime or autumn – you can find the shoe-less soles of the souls of house and techno fans dancing away at either The Palms or at The Ocean View Live stage.
Embracing the unique setting of the city park and working with the local community affords fans of the house and techno brand something different from the norm of hard concrete or asphalt or dusty lungs from the dry dirt. It even saved quite a few of the first “alumni” of the festival when the heatwave gripped the first edition! Cool down, dance, and rock the day or night away in the shallow water with all your friends!
Embracing Local Foods and Beverages brings in Fresh Experiences
CRSSD Festival is one of the few I’ve ever attended that also caters to the unique food and beverage scene of its host city. San Diego is synonymous with the craft beverage scene and the festival takes full advantage of its numerous choices to curate a unique palette for the festival.
While we love the new names cycling into the beer list, there is little doubt that the inclusion of local beers from 10 Barrel Brewing and Mother Earth Brewing along with west coast brewers Golden Road, Elysian, and Kona all show support for the local craft beer scene.
The festival offers delightful craft cocktails too and partners with brands like Rose All Day to offer wine at the festival as well. Added on top of the beverage scene, CRSSD allows local restaurants like Bang Bang Sushi and Na Pizza stands to offer a selection of their menus that reside just a few streets from the festival grounds. This support brings a bit more of the San Diego lifestyle to the festival and helps fans from around the world get a bit deeper in touch with San Diego as a city.
The Invigorating Activities Outside The Festival Grounds
Rarely has a festival experience catered so heavily in conjunction with the local club scene and its related venues. Certainly Insomniac has hosted “after parties” for its major festivals in Los Angeles, but outside of EDC Week in Las Vegas, the coordination that CRSSD Festival offers its fans is nothing short of awesome.
If you are not familiar with what I’m talking about, I refer to the CRSSD By Day/After Dark parties that occur at anywhere from five to ten venues throughout San Diego. We’re still waiting for this edition’s events to be announced but they’re sure to wow based on past experience!
So, if you missed out on a ticket to the festival and still want to indulge in your favorite house and techno acts, you’ll have plenty of chances to do so. In years past, Richie Hawtin hosted an ENTER night at Bang Bang, CRSSD put on a mini-festival at Hard Rock Hotel, Spin San Diego played host to the likes of Cirez D and Nicole Moudaber, and even the gay-club Rich’s got in on the CRSSD Festival action with Kollektiv Trumstrasse last Spring!
CRSSD continues to push the festivities schedule with some early kick-off parties prior to the weekend itself too. Coordinating all the talent, each edition for the festival alone is a tough task for a promoter, but including the smattering of shows across the city just makes us gape in awe at the ultimate experience one could partake in.
A Willingness to get Creative and Include the Unexpected
The first time I set foot at CRSSD Festival I was shocked to see the Roland Corporation booth set right in the center of the festival grounds. For those that may not recognize the name, the Roland Corporation is the company behind the famous TR-303 bass machine and the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines from the 1980s. These units laid much of the groundwork that allowed electronic music to flourish over the years. Seeing their booth was a shock to the sense if only because of the audience! This was not a trade show – would attendees actually visit the booth? It turns out – yes, they will.
On top of offering the unexpected partnership booth at the festival, CRSSD never fears to try something unique leading up to the festival itself. Take CRSSD XPRESS as one example – a train that took fans from Los Angeles down to San Diego and left them within walking distance of the festival entrance.
Other examples include working with popular file transfer platform WeTransfer to offer download packages with unique artist bits (tracks, sets, or even cooking recipes), custom skateboard and fan designs contests, giveaways with Pioneer DJ, and even a margarita recipe contest. FNGRS CRSSD does their best to blend unique aspects of the community – be it fan or producer – into their festival experience and we love it!